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Captain William Toney, a fourth-generation captain in Homosassa, helps people of all ages enjoy fishing through his Charters and educational endeavors. He is a member of the Homosassa Guides Association, another group committed to the Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve.

Homosassa Inshore Fishing Report with Captain Toney

By Captain William Toney Posted on June 28, 2021

With the big day coming July 1 for the opening of scallop season many small-town ramps on the Big Bend will turn into big city traffic jams.

I myself have not gotten in the water to scout, but I’ve received some promising intel from good sources that say it’s better than last year.

The area west and north of St. Martins Keys out in six feet or deeper is best. I’m sure there are some shallower, but if you plan your trip on the low tide phase that six feet could turn into 4 or 5. That is a good depth to be in because your field of vision is better than having your masks pushing through the turtle grass.

I like to start looking by swimming against the tide. The two reasons for this are that it’s easier to see into the waving turtle grass and, when you’re tired, the current will carry you back toward the vessel.

Have the most experienced diver head over first to see if there are scallops around. Getting a few in the first 10 minutes is good. Then send the rest of the crew in to start harvesting. If there are multiple people in the water, it’s harder to gather everyone up if the spot is no good and you have to move. 

Safety is the number one priority whenever you are out in a vessel.

There will be plenty of boats on the water and don’t assume everyone will be as safe as you are. Have a designated captain who will not crack a beer until everyone is safe onshore. Something members of the Homosassa Guides Association have done over the years is to make a circle with our vessels creating a safe area in the center. If you and a friend have multiple boats this can be done.

I’ve seen divers stray too far from the boat and also kooks running full speed too close to divers, so it goes both ways. 

At the ramp, be prepared when it’s your turn to launch, having everything packed, plugs in, straps off, etcetera.

If you have any doubts about the scallop and safety regulations go to www.myfwc.com and study it.

The tides look good for the first day because the low tide will be early afternoon and that will coincide with the sun being directly overhead, lighting up our beautiful seagrass.

Be safe and good luck. 

Homosassa Weekly Fishing Report from Captain William Toney

To schedule a fishing charter or shore lunch excursion with Captain Toney, visit his website.

If you want to learn more about how to catch Nature Coast fish from Captain Toney, subscribe to his videos at https://inthespread.com

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